The Deep Photographic Guide to the

The constellation of the month

Ursa Minor

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Latin: Ursa Minor (UMi)
English: Little Bear Spanish: Osa Menor
German: Kleiner Bär French: Petite Ourse

The above photography shows the field of the constellation Ursa Minor (Little Bear), better known as the Small Dipper (see lines). To find this constellation in the sky you should follow the two back stars of the big dipper's bowl upwards.

In mid of June Ursa Minor culminates at about 22:00 LT (10 pm). The declination of the constellation borders ranges from +65 to +90 degrees. Brightest star is Polaris (upper center), a slightly variable star of mean visual magnitude 2.

The characteristic feature of Ursa Minor is its very northern position. By chance earth's rotation axes points almost into the direction of the star Polaris, that is the reason for its special name. On the photography the celestial north pole is about 44' below Polaris (for the year 2000). The daily rotation of the earth makes the northern sky together with our sun apparently move around Polaris (see star trail exposure). Bright deep sky objects are not present in this field.

© all photographs taken by Till Credner and Sven Kohle